Unemployment falls to 10-year low as vacancies soar

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UNEMPLOYMENT has fallen to its lowest in a decade as a record number of job vacancies are on offer.

The new figures from Labour Market Statistics show the jobless total has been cut by 141,000 nationally since a year ago.

A total of 4,210 people remain unemployed in our area, including 2,365 in Portsmouth and 1,170 in Havant.

There are 165 people without work in Gosport, and 420 in Fareham.

Leone Hill, from JobCentre Plus, said it was pleasing to see more local companies working with the centre to provide employment.

About 10 unemployed JobCentre customers have started new careers at South Parade Pier, which reopens on Friday.

The centre is working closely with Gunwharf Quays and Highbury College to help unemployed local people learn new skills.

The shopping centre will hold a spring jobs fair next month.

Responding to the figures, Minister for Employment Damian Hinds said: ‘There’s good news in the south east where there is a record number of people in work at 4.54 million and a record 2.12 million women in work.’

National figures show the unemployment rate of 16 to 24-year-olds who have left full-time education is 10.9 per cent - a decrease of 1.3 per cent from last year.

Average earnings increased by 2.3 per cent in the year in February, unchanged from the previous month.

Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said: ‘This is yet another strong set of figures, with unemployment at a rate that hasn’t been beaten since the 1970s and more vacancies than ever before.’